The concept of Circular Economy (CE) presents an opportunity for a transition from the current ‘take-make-dispose’ economic approach (Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2012) towards an economic system that ensures “(…) environmental quality, economic prosperity and social equity (…)” (Kirchherr et al., 2017, p. 229) simultaneously. For this transition, organizations need to innovate systemically and collaboratively while incorporating principles of circularity and sustainability (Brown et al., 2019).
Possible research topics for your thesis
• Circular Oriented Innovation processes
• Circular Business Model implementation
The topic will be specified in a joint process.
It will be your task to identify relevant literature and gain an understanding for your topic. You will extend, refine as well as validate your findings by using a to be defined scientific research method. By doing so, you will acquire expert knowledge in the area of CE and gain an understanding of the complexity of integrating sustainable concepts within the industry.
Your thesis might be used for further research.
• Above-average course achievement
• Advanced skills in English (written and spoken)
• Ability to work independently
• Interest in sustainability concepts and CE
as from now (or upon request)
References and further reading (selection)
Brown, P., Bocken, N. and Balkenende, R. (2019) "Why Do Companies Pursue Collaborative Circular Oriented Innovation?", Sustainability 11 (3): 635.
De Angelis, R., Howard, M., & Miemczyk, J. (2018) "Supply chain management and the circular economy: towards the circular supply chain", Production Planning & Control, 29(6), 425-437.
Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF) (2012) "Towards the Circular Economy Vol. 1: an economic and business rationale for an accelerated transition".
Kirchherr, J., Reike, D. and Hekkert, M. (2017) "Conceptualizing the circular economy: An analysis of 114 definitions", Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 127: 221–232.
Geissdoerfer, M., Savaget, P., Bocken, N. M., & Hultink, E. J. (2017) "The Circular Economy–A new sustainability paradigm?", Journal of cleaner production, 143, 757-768.
Geissdoerfer, M., Pieroni, M. P., Pigosso, D. C., & Soufani, K. (2020) "Circular business models: A review". Journal of Cleaner Production.
Hart, J., Adams, K., Giesekam, J., Tingley, D. D., & Pomponi, F. (2019) "Barriers and drivers in a circular economy: the case of the built environment.", Procedia CIRP, 80, 619-624.
Leising, E., Quist, J., & Bocken, N. (2018) "Circular Economy in the building sector: Three cases and a collaboration tool.", Journal of Cleaner production, 176, 976-989.
Pomponi, F., & Moncaster, A. (2017) "Circular economy for the built environment: A research framework", Journal of cleaner production, 143, 710-718.
Please make yourself familiar with the literature for the topics you’re interested in from the list above and send your request including academic record and CV to: